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September 02, 2005

Weird

The Therapist finds a Popular Mechanics article called New Orleans Is Sinking.

They don't bury the dead in New Orleans. The highest point in the city is only 6 ft. above sea level, which makes for watery graves. Fearful that rotting corpses caused epidemics, the city limited ground burials in 1830. Mausoleums built on soggy cemetery grounds became the final resting place for generations. Beyond providing a macabre tourist attraction, these "cities of the dead" serve as a reminder of the Big Easy's vulnerability to flooding. The reason water rushes into graves is because New Orleans sits atop a delta made of unconsolidated material that has washed down the Mississippi River.

...

The fact that New Orleans has not already sunk is a matter of luck. If slightly different paths had been followed by Hurricanes Camille, which struck in August 1969, Andrew in August 1992 or George in September 1998, today we might need scuba gear to tour the French Quarter.

"In New Orleans, you never get above sea level, so you're always going to be isolated during a strong hurricane," says Kay Wilkins of the southeast Louisiana chapter of the American Red Cross.

During a strong hurricane, the city could be inundated with water blocking all streets in and out for days, leaving people stranded without electricity and access to clean drinking water. Many also could die because the city has few buildings that could withstand the sustained 96- to 100-mph winds and 6- to 8-ft. storm surges of a Category 2 hurricane...

Okay, so, a lot of stuff we've now heard quite a few times.

The strange thing is that article was published on September 11, 2001.


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posted by Ace at 09:35 AM

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